It’s a well-known fact that regular exercise helps you to live longer and a combination of physical exercise and mental stimulation makes for a very healthy formula.
On the subject of mental stimulation, there are few better ways as enjoyable to achieve this than through a good old-fashioned game of bingo. This is exactly what Milly Smith has done and it’s what she credits her old age to.
For over 30 years now Milly has been getting out of the house on a regular basis to go for a game of bingo in her local hall, Milly is now 100 years old and this year she received a telegraph from the Queen to mark her milestone birthday.
Aswell as bingo, in her spare time she enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, sometimes with as many as 1,000 pieces!
Milly isn’t the first person who claims bingo has helped her to maintain good mental health, the game has received lots of credit from various sources, take the academic study below as an example.
Julie Winstone from Southampton Univeristy who researched into this area says that players were faster and more accurate than non-bingo players when participating in tasks to measure their mental speed, the ability to quickly find information and memorise it.
The results of the research were of little surprise to the National Bingo Association, they stated that out of the three million people who enjoy the game, the average age is 49 years.
The experiments undertaken by Ms Winstone were done in a controlled manner; she firstly recruited 112 people, half of which were bingo players- she divided them into groups, 18-40 year olds and 60-82 year olds.
The testing involved asking both groups to scan a grid for single digits, pairs of digits and finally three digits. The findings were that the old bingo players were faster and made fewer errors than the old non-bingo players and indeed the young.
She attributed the finding to the fact that in bingo it is crucial not to miss any numbers and that attention must be held for several hours, both of these aspects require good mental strength and give good opportunity to develop, maintain and improve them.
There are of course many other positive aspects for people to enjoy whilst they go and play bingo, after all, the game is inexpensive, and there is a fair chance of winning some money. Also bingo halls are generally very sociable places and they usually serve quality low cost food and beverages to their customers.
Nowadays thanks to advances in technology bingo can be enjoyed from the comfort of peoples homes online.
So all things being equal, it seems that doctors orders number 9 (a call sign in bingo) may sum up the game itself!